Friday, June 24, 2016

How to Beat the NRA and Get Real Gun Control

In the aftermath of the horrible, bigoted mass murder in Orlando, a lot of us have been thinking about gun control. This is demonstrated Connecticut Senator's Chris Murphy successful filibuster that forced a gun control vote, and by the House Democrat's sit-in - without CSPAN cameras - protesting the GOP's inaction.

But these are mainly symbolic, and frankly it wasn't enough.  All the gun control votes done after the filibuster have failed, and predictions are just for further failures.

The thing is the majority of Americans are in favor of gun control.  The majority of Republicans are in favor of stricter gun control, and even the majority of NRA members are in favor of stricter gun control.   (source)

So why can't we get any gun control, if so many of us want it?

Representative Democracy is not about what's right, nor is it even always about what most people want.  It's also about how much we want it.

And while most NRA members, Republicans, and Americans all want stricter gun control, it's a weak and disorganized desire while the Pro-Gun forces are FANATICAL and strongly organized.

They have so much power they passed a law called the Dickey Amendment that prevents the collection of gun data (for use in lobbying - but the definition of Lobbying is so poor that it basically prevents the collection of any data).

How do we fight this insidious, fanatical, well funded, and well organized threat?

By being better organized and better funded.  We need an organization that is the polar opposite of NRA

Note, this will take money.  Pro gun forces spend about $30 million in an election year.  We will need to spend at least $3 million to fight them - and honestly I would prefer to outspend them.  If you can't out spend them, that means you don't care as much as they do.

When senators and congressman vote on gun control, they get calls.  And they get about 20 calls for gun control and 200 calls against.

Those numbers are relatively small.  We can beat them.

We need a list of every single person killed by or wounded by a gun.  If they survived, recruit them.  If someone passed, recruit every single person that loved them.

This is our potential army.

Get our army to agree to push three SIMPLE and easily explainable goals:

  1. Remove the Dickey amendment.
  2. Create a new license from the federal government that you are required to have in order to buy, sell, carry, or own any hand gun .    This license will also allow concealed carry - in all US territory.  Failure to have that license is a felony.
  3. Create a single, downloadable and freely available online list of all people that are legally forbidden from buying, selling, or owning any gun, according to existing laws.   It is now a felony, punishable by a minimum of 1 year in jail to sell a gun without getting their ID and checking that list.
Now give our army of gun victims four phone numbers and have them spend 10 minutes every single week.   The first week of the month they call their state Representative.  The second week, their Senator, the third week their Congressman, and the fourth week they call their Governor.  Have them do that every week without fail for a year.

At the end of that year, we will have gun control.

Note, I have avoided the various stupidity traps that the anti-gun control lobby has fallen into.   No talk about 'assault weapons ' (a made up term that just confuses the issue.)  No talk about clips, silencers, or rifles at all.    We concentrate on the real problems - the horrible Dickey Amendment,  the ease of getting dangerous hand guns (ignoring the far safer long guns), and finally the systematic problem we have in enforcing our current laws.

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